Leaders of World Religions Agree to Go Beyond Assisi

Gathering at Vatican Is Follow-up to Jan. 24 Day of Prayer

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders met here last week to study ways of promoting collaboration in the wake of January´s Day of Prayer for Peace, held in Assisi.

The meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, concluded that dialogue must not be restricted to events such as that of Assisi, said Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the council.

«This collaboration could be made concrete by assuming the form of a body that will offer suggestions to our pontifical council and to people of different religions, to promote symbolic initiatives in favor of reconciliation, the great values that lead to justice, peace, especially where there is the most suffering,» the cardinal told Vatican Radio.

«The discussion showed that the people of the other religions wish to follow the path promoted by the Holy See: to help this world to be better; to affirm that religion can never be a pretext for tension or violence,» Cardinal Arinze continued.

«Religion must encourage us, instead, to direct our glance and our attention to God and our neighbor — this is the important horizontal dimension. This was, precisely, the way we followed during the sessions of these days,» he said.

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